Issue: Feb 2012


FIAMM STRENGTHENS ITS PRESENCE IN CHINA



The new horn plant in Wuhan, which will supply auto manufacturers with original equipment, is inaugurated

by Clinton Wright

FIAMM is reinforcing its presence in China as an OEM for leading automobile manufacturers in this Asian country. On 8 February, the new horn production plant was inaugurated in the FIAMM industrial area in Wuhan, provincial capital of Hubei in Central China.

Dedicated to the production of electromechanical, electronic, and electromagnetic disk acoustic signals, the new Wuhan plant is capable of reaching a production capacity of 2 million pieces per year immediately and doubling this figure by 2013.

The automobile horn business, which amounts to a hefty 20% of the group's total turnover, represents one of the core businesses of FIAMM, which holds a considerable market share in both Europe and North America (more than 50%) as well as in Brazil (70%). China represents an extremely important market for the automotive world and the opening of this new plant will enable FIAMM to noticeably increase its presence on the local market with a view to reaching a 20% market share by 2015.

FIAMM produces more than 40 million horns every year, thanks to a production network that originated with the plant in Almisano (Vicenza), Italy, one of the most important FIAMM production facilities, boasting an annual production of more than 17 million pieces. Similar quantities are also produced in the American Cadillac plant in Michigan, followed by the Brazilian plant in São Paulo with 3.4 million pieces. The new Wuhan plant is therefore the fourth production plant and represents a fundamental production centre in Asia.

For FIAMM, internationalization is not considered synonymous with delocalization. The expansion into Asia meets a specific demand made by FIAMM clients, but does not influence Italian production which, in order to satisfy auto manufacturer's demands, has signed an important labour union agreement for the Almisano plant, which will now work three shifts, six days per week, thereby further consolidating its production potential.

With the latest expansion of the Wuhan industrial area, where the production plants for industrial batteries, standby, and start-up batteries is also situated, the number of FIAMM Group production sites in the world totals 11: three in Italy (Almisano, Avezzano, Veronella, as well as the headquarters in Montecchio Maggiore in the province of Vicenza), one each in Switzerland, France, the Czech Republic, and Brazil, and two in the United States, for a total of 3,300 employees.

The FIAMM Group, founded in 1942, produces and distributes accumulators for automobile ignitions and industrial use (UPS - uninterrupted power supply, energy storage) and acoustic signals.. The group is now present in 60 countries with about 3,300 employees worldwide and about 950 in Italy. The 2011 turnover amounted to a value of 540 million Euro. The main markets served are Italy (26%) and the rest of Europe (51%), where direct sales to auto manufacturers (BMW, Fiat-Chrysler, Ford, Mercedes, GM-Opel, PSA, Renault-Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen) represent about 30% of the turnover.



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